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Old 05-05-2005, 05:09 PM   #1
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Share your mistakes!

Just thought it would be fun to share some of the mistakes we have made,
and possibly help a beginner, in avoiding to repeat the same!

Well, when I started up my tank (not long ago actually ), I wanted to
install a check valve on the output of the canister filter (once the tank was
filled up, of course). So I thought, there is not much water in that pipe
anyway (LOL), so I plucked out the hose, and it started to dump water
like there is no tomorrow... I looked at it for a few seconds... until I
clicked: this is not going to end here, by gravity, it will just run until the
water level goes below the pipe in the tank. LOL
I stuck my finger in the pipe, and started to scream at my significant
other for help! Thank goodness she was around

Let's hear about yours! 8)
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Old 05-05-2005, 10:05 PM   #2
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Here's one of my many mistakes:

I snuck into work early to do a PWC on my 55gal. Because of our u-shaped office layout, I have to snake the python about 75 feet from the faucet (which is in a sink in one of our conference rooms) to the tank. I then have to prop open the door between the waiting room and the inner office hallway so I can reach the tank.

I thought I had the water at the correct temperature, so I turned on the faucet at full force, flipped the valve and began refilling the tank. Actually, I did not have the correct temperature, so after a while, the water became hot. I quickly shut off the valve and began to run back toward the faucet. As I pulled the python behind me, it knocked over the trashcan holding the door open. The door swung shut and pinned the hose. I tried to yank it, which only made it worse.

In the meantime, I have hot water beginning to build up pressure in the hose. I got the hose free and continued running toward the faucet. As I rounded the corner into the conference room, something caught the hose again!. Once again, I yanked the hose, while backing into the conference room. This time, I was not as careful and accidentally flipped open the valve, spewing hot water all overmyself, the conference room table, the fabric conference room chairs, and all the files there.

Of course, the hose was still stuck, and I was still about ten feet from the faucet. I finally yanked the hose free (not once thinking to close the valve) and slid my way to the faucet and turned it off.

I surveyed the damage, and looked for a mop. We had just moved into the office, so there was no mop nor any towels there. I spent the next half hour in my suit, shirt and tie, grabbing paper towels from the men's room and trying to sop up about twenty gallons and making the place look like nothing had ever happened.
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:48 PM   #3
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I'll be the first newbie and say that just about everything I did was a mistake (lack of information really):

1) Setting up a outdoor Whiskey Barrel pond with FANCY goldfish instead of simple feeders or comets... and knowing very little about the new aquarium procedures (I'm old school). As a result...

2) No tests until one fish died. Went and bought water tests and found high ammonia, resulting in...

3) An impulse buy on about $40 worth of chemicals like AmmoLock. I immediately dumped a mess load in. After 6 weeks, still no nitrites and my last fish showing signs of ammonia toxification. Luckily, I had sense enough to jump on-line. This is where things slowly started to turn around (thanks to AA)! But because I couldn't get the cyle to start up (too many chems in the water)...

2) Having to rush buy on an aquarium without shopping or research (29 gallon by TopFin). With the new tank...

3) I purchased a UGF filter. Luckily, I saw information before I got the air pump or power head and promptly returned it for a HOB.

4) With the new HOB in place, I moved the outside decor and filter to the tank to hopefully have a minimal amount of seeding (even though the pond didn't ever cycle). The mistake here was that I moved the fish with it, no cycling the 3 day old tank. I did make the water "safe" though and I figured that my fish had a better chance in the new tank with no chems than outside waiting for the new tank to cylce. This appears to have been a good choice right now. As things are progressing...

5) I should have thought twice about tank placement. It's upstairs on the dresser (no stand.... we'll get to that later). Now, even with the A/C on during the day, the upstairs rooms stay at 80F or higher, and I'm not sure why. As a result, my tank water is at roughly 80F.... which is 8F over the maximum recommended temp of goldfish. My fish still appears to be strong and lively though so perhaps he's doing alright.

6) After deciding that I needed a stand and didn't want to spend $100+ on it, I decided to make my own (and I am not, I repeat, NOT a carpenter. lol). I did at least make my plans in SketchUp (3D proggie like AutoCad). Unfortunately, I tried to save a few bucks and cut the boards myself. End result is a non-square frame (but can hold 400+ pounds). Hopefully when I put the plywood on and the leveling feet, it won't be noticable. Heh! Canopy will be done correctly as will my venture in to the custom 47 gal. So I suppose the mistake here was trying to save money without a full range of skills.

So, in a nutshell, there are all of my mistakes , though there may be minor ones I have done here and there.
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Old 05-07-2005, 04:06 AM   #4
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biggest mistake... UGF. I finally started researching online, got a HOB and removed the UGF. Those things are awful.
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Old 05-07-2005, 04:39 AM   #5
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I had taken the glass lids off the tank for a pwc, or to put my arm in the tank and placed them resting at a 45 deg angle against the stand. They must have been there for a while cos I forgot about them an kneeled down and put my knee against one with just enough pressure to break it. I had jeans on so no damage to but man that sucked.
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Old 05-07-2005, 09:33 AM   #6
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I just love topics like this...hopefully folks will see this and not repeat them.

Ahhh, the lovely and wonderful Python. 2nd time I use it for the 30gal. Everything is working fine...gravel vac'ing...hmmm...no flow? Check line and faucet connection...tube is still in tank. Got everything back to normal...small chink in line as it rounded the corner of the front hall to the kitchen. I'm finished...tube is still in the tank. I thought I reversed the flow knob on the bottom to prepare for filling. Take a break Jchillin...tube still in the tank...come back...Whoa! 75% of water gone! Fish are huddled in the rear of tank in about 15" of water.

No way I'm gonna use the python to fill the tank...lots of dechlor needed. Whip out the 'ol reliable bucket and slowly start refilling tank after buckets of water have been treated and aerated.

Morale - Modern technology is wonderful but don't cast the old fashioned methods aside. I would have been in a world of trouble if I had.
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Old 05-07-2005, 09:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
No way I'm gonna use the python to fill the tank


I was so mad after my episode I swore I would never do a water change again, I was done keeping fish. The worst part was it had already taken me a long time before that to convince the building manager and my boss that I could handle a fish tank with no major risk of dripping water all over the place.

Well, all four of my tanks are fine now, but I am still racking up mistakes.
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Old 05-07-2005, 10:48 AM   #8
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my biggest mistake? to think that the guy at the lfs actually knows something...before i joined this forum he sold me a 5gal tank and a red cap oranda to cycle it...in 5 days i had 5ppm nitrites...a dead fish and a tank full of ich... ...the funny thing is all the other guys there told me HE was the fish expert... 8O ...oh well....ive learnt my lesson...
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Old 05-07-2005, 10:54 AM   #9
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If there were a prize this one would win.

Back when I was mere lad and had my first 10 gal tank with an incandescent reflector I needed to change the bulb. The thought of unplugging the light never occurred to me.
Well, of course after unscrewing the bulb I proceeded to drop the reflector in the tank. I reached in to get it and stuck my finger into the socket. YIKES. Anyone ever have 110v go through their body while partially submersed in water? There's a mistake you won't make twice.
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Old 05-07-2005, 11:00 AM   #10
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LOL...since ur there typing right now ill assume u have survived the 110v!!!
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